The origins of the Pony Of The Americas – commonly referred to as POAs – is more recent than many other breeds so more is known about their foundation. In 1954, a Shetland Pony breeder in Iowa named Les Boomhower purchased an Arabian/Appaloosa cross mare that had been bred to a Shetland Pony. The resulting colt was white with black spots all over its body like an Appaloosa. The colt gave Boomhower an idea to create a pony large enough for older kids and small adults with the refined head of an Arabian, the muscled, athletic body of a Quarter Horse and Appaloosa markings. He gathered some fellow Shetland Pony breeders at his farm to brainstorm and thus the Pony of the Americas Club was formed.

What Does a POA Look Like?

Overall, a POA looks more like a small horse than a pony, with the muscular, athletic look of a stock-horse breeds, combined with the refinement and quality of the Arabian. A POA’s head is refined and slightly dished, leading into a clean-cut neck that blends into a long, sloping shoulder, well-rounded barrel and muscular hindquarters. A POA’s average height at maturity is 11.2 – 14 hands (46 – 56 inches).

The Pony of the Americas Club has some strict requirements for registration. The animal must have Appaloosa coloring/markings visible from 40 feet, and must have typical Appaloosa mottling around the eyes, muzzle and genitalia as well as visible white sclera of the eyes and striped hooves.

While originally developed for western-type riding and events, POAs today can be found competing in a wide variety of horse sports, from driving to dressage and eventing. Their kind, willing personalities make them a great choice for kids interested in all kinds of activities. For more information, visit